21 Taraba youths arrested as women protest-Anyigbaleft

Women of Kona ethnic group in Jalingo -the Taraba State capital, have protested the continuous invasion, attacks and killing of their “h...

Women of Kona ethnic group in Jalingo -the Taraba State capital, have protested the continuous invasion, attacks and killing of their “husbands and children” in Tudiri and other parts of Jalingo and Ardo-Kola.

The protest began on Wednesday when the aggrieved women dressed in black to mourn the dead, marched through Kona Garu streets in Jalingo, en route Nukkai, to ATC.

The protest followed the attack on Tudiri area of Jalingo on Monday by armed gunmen, which the attackers, riding eight motorcycles, set several Kona homes ablaze.

Police said no life was lost in the attack but the Kona community said it lost at least eight persons.
Newsmen also captured on cameras the body of a resident who burnt in the razed village.

Sources also told The Nation that another young man who was shot, while fleeing from the attackers, died in a hospital.

 It was gathered that Monday’s attack on Tudiri was a continuation of the communal feud between Kona and Fulani communities in Jalingo and Ardo-Kola areas of Taraba.

Before the latest attack, a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Kamai, said the Kona community lost 51 persons in the crisis between them and the Fulani ethnic group.

In the aftermath of the attack on Tudiri, Kona youths allegedly took advantage (of the incident) and began to attack people indiscriminately.

 They razed the homes and shops of innocent people, as well as a mosque.

Joined by other criminal elements, they smashed and burnt vehicles, looted and injured innocent residents, including travelers.

The rioters also mounted barricades with burning tyres near Nukkai Bridge and Bera Market, ceasing traffic flow along the Yola-Wukari Road.

It took the intervention of armed soldiers, police, immigration and other security agencies before the barricades were cleared.
21 suspects were arrested in connection to the riots. Commanding Officer 20 Model Battalion Serti, Taraba State, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Adamu, said the suspects were arrested in Tudiri with several dangerous weapons, following a tip off.

But the protesting Kona women demanded the “immediate release” of their youths.

The protesters also alleged that the Army interrupted their protest and injured some of them.
But Lt Col. Adamu, in a telephone, denied the involvement of soldiers in the women’s protest.
The women said they are terrified by the incessant attacks and killings.

 They also lamented that their attackers have asked them to leave their dwelling places.

Police spokesperson, David Misal, said adequate security was given to the protesting women while marching in the streets. He added that calm has been restored in the affected areas.

Misal, a DSP, also confirmed the arrest of some youths and disclosed that the suspects were being investigated.

Following the violence, Governor Darius Ishaku imposed curfew on Jalingo and all the affected areas, which have witnessed mass exodus.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan Abu, the governor said: “In view of fresh outbreak of crisis in some communities in Kona and ATC areas near Jalingo, the Taraba State government has decided to impose a curfew on Jalingo and all the affected communities with immediate effect.

“The curfew is from 4pm to 6am daily. It remains in force until further notice.

“Security agencies in the state have been directed to enforce the curfew strictly to ensure strict compliance and quick return of peace to the affected communities.”

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ANYIGBALEFT: 21 Taraba youths arrested as women protest-Anyigbaleft
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